Euro Beach Soccer League Belgrade 2017
24 Jun 2017

Hosts Serbia off the mark, with Division A finely poised

Both divisions remain up for grabs going into the final day in Belgrade.

Improved Estonia get off the mark

Estonia picked up their first points of Euro Beach Soccer League Division B on Saturday as they saw off a spirited Norway 6-4.

Norway, having picked up a win against Serbia on penalties a day earlier, were on top early on as tournament top scorer Jorn Andre Jacobsen helped his side into a 2-1 lead before Estonia rallied and got themselves in front.

Braces from Ragnar Rump and Ervin Stuf helped Estonia see out a gritty win as they bounced back from Friday’s surprise loss to Czech Republic.

Tom-Rune Sorenson’s powerful drive broke the deadlock for Norway early on with Stuf almost levelled when hammered a set-piece against the crossbar a minute later.

Rune Kandal also saw his dipping strike hit the woodwork before the interval and, while Raku levelled shortly after the restart, Jacobsen’s fifth goal of the tournament swiftly put Norway back on top. Priit Maeorg did restore parity and Estonia led for the first time when Raku grabbed his second.

Erol Kigaste got on the scoresheet with a controlled finish into the bottom corner before the final period but Norway drew first blood in the third frame as Jorgen Jalland prodded home from close range.

Stuf’s first of the game restored the two-goal cushion while Kevin Sooaluste’s instinctive finish helped put the game beyond Norway five minutes from time.

Henrik Salveson showed good strength to roll his defender and prod one in with just over a minute to play but the writing was on the wall regardless, Stuf adding a late set-piece as Estonia got off the mark for the Euro Beach Soccer League 2017.

Spain bounce back to hold off France

Spain recovered from their surprise defeat against Germany to beat France 5-4 in a thrilling contest.

Spain and France had contrasting fortunes on day one, the latter beating four-time champions Russia, and, despite falling behind to early goals from Stephane Belhomme and Julien Soares, Spain showed their quality over the three periods.

Llorenc Gomez scored twice in an impressive win that gets Spain off the mark in the Serbian capital.

Belhomme needed less than a minute to break the deadlock as his fierce effort struck the angle of post and bar before creeping over the line to give France an early advantage.

The men in blue struck early again in the second period as Soares doubled the lead although Spain found a foothold in the game courtesy of Antonio Mayor’s drilled free-kick into the bottom corner.

And the comeback was complete when Salvador Ardil’s acrobatic effort found its way past Lorenzo Dupin in the France goal before Llorenc Gomez sent a low free-kick into the bottom corner to give Spain the lead.

Spain found themselves firmly in the ascendancy when Eduard Suarez followed in on Antonio’s saved free-kick to tap in but Pierre Antoine Darracq reduced the arrears to give France some momentum.

Spain wrestled back control when Dupin failed to keep out Llorenc’s strike and, while Belhomme grabbed his second in acrobatic fashion inside the final minute, France fell just short.

Improved Russia too much for Germany

Russia stepped up a gear from their opening-day defeat to France as the four-time Euro Beach Soccer League champions edged Germany 3-2.

In a Division A that now sees all four nations sit on three points, Russia kept alive their hopes of lifting the trophy as Aleksey Makarov, Boris Nikonorov and Yury Krashenninikov built a lead that proved unassailable.

Goals from Tobias Gottlich and Sebastian Ullrich gave Germany a fighting chance but Russia held firm to set up a tantalising final day.

In a close-fought opening period, neither side could find a breakthrough before the interval with Aleksey Makaraov eventually nudging Russia in front with a prodded finish from close range midway through the second frame.

Boris Nikonorov then added his third goal of the tournament swiftly after with Yury Krashenninikov hammering in a third as a much-improved Russia got firmly on course for their first points of the competition.

Tobias Gottlich pulled one back from the spot for Germany and their recovery made life difficult for Russia as Valon Beqiri glanced home late on.

In the final stages, Sebastian Ullrich failed to make contact with a Christian Biermann effort as Germany’s last chance slipped away.

Hosts Serbia deny battling Czechs

Euro Beach Soccer League hosts Serbia denied Czech Republic an initial chance to lift the title when they claimed a 4-2 win in the day's final game.

The Czechs would have been ensured the trophy with a win but struggled to live with a Serbia side cheered on by an enthusiastic home crowd as Nemanja Vucicevic scored twice to keep the group alive going into the final day.

Vucicevic opened the scoring in Serbia’s favour as the hosts started brightly, with the forward on target again early in the second - giving the home crowd plenty to shout about.

Goalkeeper Marko Milivojevic rattled the crossbar as Serbia remained in control approaching the game’s midway point - the home goalkeeper then making a fine save to his left to deny captain Filip Vyhnal.

David Radosta halved the deficit when his strike took a deflection in the sand to beat Milivojevic before a long-range free-kick from Mladen Jovancic looked to have sent Serbia into the final frame with a 3-1 lead.

Vyhnal’s point-blank header gave the Czechs a boost just before the whistle, with the midfielder then denied an equaliser by another wonderful Milivojevic save.

But Nenad Grujic’s drilled free-kick gave Serbia breathing space and ultimately completed the scoring as the Czechs missed out on the chance to seal the title, for now at least.

Saturday results

14:15 - Estonia 7-4 Norway

15:30 - Spain 5-4 France

16:45 - Russia 3-2 Germany

18:00 - Czech Republic 2-4 Serbia

Sunday fixtures

14:15 - Czech Republic v Norway

15:30 - Germany v France

16:45 - Russia v Spain

18:00 - Serbia v Estonia

June 22, 2018 - June 24, 2018
Division A - Group 1
Azerbaijan AZE 1 1 0 0 4 1 3 3
Portugal POR 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 3
Belarus BLR 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0
France FRA 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3 0
Division A - Group 2
Ukraine UKR 1 1 0 0 5 4 1 3
Italy ITA 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 3
Swizerland SUI 1 0 0 1 4 5 -1 0
Germany GER 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0
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